Adopting Berlin Parasites’ approach, Cairo Mockingbird lets us in on some mind-blowing Arab literature and visual art.
Sometimes on our Facebook newsfeed, among the depressing news of war, massive consumption, rape, and terrorism, we find some delightful thoughts and images, like rays of sun emerging with silent majesty from the cracks of a rock. Oftentimes, the source of those rays of sun is Berlin Parasites, a page dedicated to publishing deep, humane thoughts attached to stunning pieces of art.
Though Berlin Parasites represents a universal platform for the distribution of thoughts that touch humans in general, sometimes as Arabs we feel that some of those themes hold a bit of irrelevance to us, just like the name of the page. And it for this reason that, no doubt, some of us have at some point thought to themselves regarding the Berlin Parasites concept, 'I wish there was something similar in Arabic.'
Well, there actually is.
Cairo Mockingbird has adopted Berlin Parasites’ approach – while giving itself a more pleasant name – in publishing beautiful and touching quotes attached to great works of art, with the only difference being most of the writers and the artists from which the art is derived as Arab. Not translated, not 3ammah, not Englisised – just Arab almost everything.
Though the quotes presented are mostly connected to universal themes, such as love, disappointment, grief, and endurance, the page also literarily tackles issues that are intimately Arab, such as the state of diaspora faced by Palestinians and Syrians, and the common Arab history and its going legacy. And so, it is very hard to decide whether it is the piercing quotes that really get to the viewer, or the stunning art.
This, of course, is not to say that one is ‘surprised’ that such art and literature exist in the Arab world, but it is more of a relief that this certainly existent – perhaps even overflowing and abundant – myriad of artistic expression is now finding an outlet; like a crack in stone, it emerges and basks the modern day Arab, who is definitely in need for this particular kind of human reassurance and interaction.